Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic Defense League

Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic Defense League June 10, 2015

defends the Church from the Magisterium and whatever it is he fears the pope might say in an upcoming encyclical. Because one’s views on climate change have somehow become as much an article of faith for conservative Catholics as they are for lefties. Everybody uses the language of faith to talk about it and the pope is already being deemed an apostate by taking the heretical (for conservatives) side of the discussion.

Me: I’m gonna wait till I actually know what Francis has to say before remarking on it, much less commanding people to ignore him in favor of whatever Rick Santorum and Bill Donohue are on about.

The silliness of all this is the “Let the sciences handle this” command from Santorum. Mr. Senator: That’s what Francis is doing. Right or wrong, he is basing his views on the “consensus of science”. That’s not always a slam dunk of course. The Church that condemned Galileo also based its arguments, in part, on the consensus of science as it stood at the time. But it has always been the custom of the Church to act provisionally in it prudential judgments on the best judgment of human beings with competency in their field. Not infallible, but generally a good idea. It’s called “prudence”. It’s a virtue. I would take more seriously those who appeal to “prudential judgment” as a rationale for ignoring the Church and pre-emptively dismissing encyclicals they have not read if they demonstrated an iota of it themselves.

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